What makes for holy living? That’s a question I find many new Christians asking and one which I ask myself at times. The impetus for such a question is usually a desire to do what’s right in the eyes of God, but I think the very question itself seeks the answer in the wrong way. First, how do I even know what “holy” is? I must use some kind of barometer to measure the holiness of a particular action and that barometer should be God Himself. He is the one who makes something or someone holy because He is inherently holy. Once I’m aware of God’s holiness, I must seek to live my life in a manner that exudes righteousness and a true appreciation for what God has done for me. Yet, even living a holy life can be done in the wrong way if I look to win approval or use my own righteous actions as a tool to denounce the sin of others. I also cannot hope that my holy living will somehow earn me respect from God as if He owes me for being such a great person. No, my life should reflect my honest gratitude for God’s saving grace and my acknowledgement that I, in no way, deserve it.
With that in mind, I will quote from one of the better examples in the bible of how we can seek to live a life worthy of our calling as heirs to the kingdom of God. Paul writes in Colossians 3: 12-17, “As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as The Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the father through him.”
When I read that passage, I see that it could relate to every relationship I could have here on earth (parents, spouse, children, coworkers, friends, strangers, other Christians) as well as my relationship with God. He has told us everything we need to live a holy life and in turn worship the one who made it holy!